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Okay, look. This is getting ridiculous. Everybody knows that the hipster beer forever and ever, amen is PBR. You can show up to a bar in a suit or a football jersey, but order a PBR and you’ll still be called a hipster. And it’s always by some guy that’s way too drunk and/or a few years behind the times that will yell it out, like he thought up the gem all by himself: “A PBR?? HAHA? What are ya?! Some kinda hipster?” It’s just one of those markers that will get you pegged, every time. It’s like getting caught walking out of an American Apparel, or buying a pack of Parliaments. Drinking PBR = hipster. It’s almost a universal constant.

So, why would anyone try this?

 

Futile

Futile

It’s a pale ale, but I had to look up the brewery on the internet to even get that much info. The packaging does nothing for the beer, and it’s just overall not really appealing. If I hadn’t been looking at every beer in the place, I would have skipped right over it. It doesn’t look hipster at all. If you’re going to name it after hipsters, go all out. At least put a mustache or a fixie on the can or something.

The one thing this beer has going for it is that it’s part of a company’s line of products that is pretty large, meaning they probably just shit out a pale ale for the fun of it, named it hipster for a laugh, and forgot all about it. And since hipsters try extremely hard to look like they don’t care, it almost works in a meta kind of way. I’m sort of doing contortions trying to get this to make sense to me, and I think that’s the closest I’ll get.

I ended up buying PBR anyway, because, well, you know.

Hipster Psycho

IronyOnRye —  01/23/2014 —  Comments

There are two types of parodies: the first is lazy, trite, tired, overdone, quickly rushed off the assembly line in a frenzied slapdash fashion in order to claim “FIRST!” Most of these have one or two genuinely funny gags that you can tell were the genesis of the whole parody: everything else is cheap window dressing to fill out the other three to five minutes. These are invariably not worth your time.

The second is something that takes a bit more effort and time to present to the world, but the result is fully formed and becomes the gold standard for whatever other parodies might be unfortunate enough to come after. This American Psycho parody is to all future hipster parodies what Spaceballs is to someone wanting to make a Star Wars takeoff (looking directly at you, Seth McFarlane).

 

Anyone wanting to do a take on American Psycho or hipsters is going to have their work cut out for them. And it’s not like a lot of hipster parodies weren’t criticized as lazy or unfunny before this, so really, anyone else out there thinking about making a Williamsburg send-up should probably get cracking on some other project; between this and Portlandia, it’s starting to feel like the market for making fun of hipsters is getting kind of saturated. I’ll offer a few suggestions: how about a song making fun of Justin Bieber, or another fucking awful “Shit _____s Say” video? We don’t have nearly enough of those.

I left Chicago behind in the fall to set out on a new life adventure in the wild Northern hinterland– or as close as someone like myself raised on public transportation and urban decay can get to the concept of “hinterland,” which in this case would be Milwaukee, just an hour and a half away from the good old Windy City. I have utterly failed to do so.

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So far I’ve got to say that it hasn’t really grabbed me like previous places have. It’s nice and all, and it’s got the kind of things a hipster would deem as essential on a checklist: thriving microbrew culture, a restaurant scene isolated from highway chains, local artsyfartsy coffee joints that even sell their own house-roasted beans at the neighborhood organic food market. Oh yeah, and a neighborhood organic food market, music venues with indie performers often playing the day before or after a show in Chicago, record stores, and it’s even the homeland of the one and only Pabst Blue Ribbon, which has got to score MKE some extra cred. Everything is ripe for the kind of atmosphere that can take a person and sweep them into a storm of “omg SOOO indie” that they might never escape from, or at the very least wake up ten years later with eight awful tattoos and a baby that they’re raising on soy milk and gluten free bread with a hyphenated last name and a first name like Willard.

So… why hasn’t this happened yet?

milwaukee_instagram

I can think of a couple of reasons: pace and space. There’s no energy here, at least none that I can sense. It might be possible that everyone else is on a totally different wavelength, but I suspect that the pace of life, even in large cities, is more variable than I originally thought. A city like Chicago or New York is just fast; something that you know by instinct your whole life, even if you have never gone there. And once you do, that pace is like an atmosphere or a gas that seeps into you, you can feel it and sense it by the way the people are driving on the road. Even pedestrians on the sidewalk move faster. Try to spot the tourists the next time you’re in a fast city: even without cameras or gawking, people are passing them up on the sidewalk because they just know. And once you live for a while in a city like that or even take a vacation there, after day five or so you’re converted to their fanatic’s pace. Now sleep is no longer important; if the day suddenly had 36 hours in it, that’s 30 hours a day to do shit! Hit the bars, catch that show, spend an afternoon crate-digging with your friend for German new wave records that you can use to sample in your instrumental hip-hop side project that you have together, and still manage to meet up with that one guy who wanted to feature that weirdo cabinet you found at the thrift store in his art gallery, after the two of you decided that it would look a lot better with stolen subway graffiti fixed to it. You’d still only get five hours of sleep and it would be hipster as fuck.

Of course, something like that happens only because you’re forced to meet people, and you meet people a whole lot easier when everyone lives on top of each other. Your upstairs neighbor might be a stick in the mud who hates when you and your hipster associates party on Tuesday nights because Friday nights are passe, but you know and like everyone else in your neighborhood because the code minimum distance between houses in the city is six inches and if you don’t live in a house, your’re in an apartment with shitty rent so a three bedroom has six people living in it.

The pace is off and the space is too plentiful, and everyone eats too much cheese which slows people down and makes them boring, and has got to be the hidden third reason I’m moving back to the 312 as soon as I figure out how to fake my own death to escape my student loans. And hack a billion dollars from someone’s Wall Street hedge fund so I can live as the undisputed God-Emperor of Hipsters.

alcohol

5) PBR
The hipster classic. Easy to drink and easy to be “the founder of the feast” by bringing a lot. Loses points for its low ABV, so you have to combine it with shots, or drink a hell of a lot and get that “all of my bodily fluids are beer right now” type of drunk.

4) Evan Williams

Those of us with trust funds might be tempted to get Knob Creek or Woodford Reserve, but when you’re pouring out communal shots for the whole party at midnight, you want more not better. Plus, this way you get to see who’s experiences with shooting whiskey and who’s a baby that will make entertaining faces and complain about how bad it tastes for at least ten minutes afterward. Bonus if they puke.

3) Rum & Coke

Party staple, though maybe a little corporate for using a name brand. Also has the tendency of starting out at the beginning of the night being a respectable ratio of Coke to booze, and at the end being a hellbrew of mostly rum with a dash of soda. Drink at your own risk.

2) Champagne

The one set time of year where it’s acceptable to drink the stuff, unless you’re a rapper. Resolve to make up more excuses to drink this during the upcoming year. Save a bottle or two for the next morning so that you can make mimosas, in case you’re a weakling that gets hangovers.

1) Microbrew

The ultimate in cred. Get one high in ABV so that you don’t have to drink an entire case just to keep up with the rest of the party. Pick up a gluten free pack in case you’ve got a friend with an allergy, or want to impress the hot chick on the fad diet across the room. Or if you plan ahead, go to a microbrewery outside of your local area the day before the party so that you can buy a beer that no one has ever heard of, ensuring your status as Drunken Master of Hipsters.

Justin-Bieber-Music-Mondays1

Do you remember back in the day (and when I say back in the day I mean 2012, ahhhh good times, good times) when we used to do Music Mondays here at HipsterJew? It usually consisted of the Duckman or Chicky finding a new song, and every few weeks or so I would review a new album. It was a semi-regular feature that gave us consistent page views and built up goodwill in our audience (except for that one time I bashed the Strokes. Still, no regrets). And it kept me from feeling guilty about not writing anything, since I felt like a regular contributor.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. We’ll write about music every once in a while, and it won’t be me posting the article, and it won’t be on Mondays, and it will only be about shitty Jewish parody songs. Or Haim. The #MusicMonday tag goes unused, forgotten, discarded, lonely, weeping to itself in its room with Radiohead’s “Karma Police” on repeat.

We have made such a mistake. Our neglect of #MusicMonday means that it’s been hijacked by Justin Bieber who releases a new shitty song every Monday. I feel like this is somehow my fault. Music Mondays are now tainted. They now belong to a megadouche who has a full sleeve but in my mind’s eye still has the face of a 13 year old with a crooked Beatles hairdo. Taking them back seems like an appropriate way to handle this situation, so I’d just like to take this opportunity to apologize to all of my regular Monday readers (all three of you) and to announce that I’m getting back on the wagon. I pledge to listen to new records, drink until I need to place both hands on a keyboard for stability, and wordvomit my thoughts about said record all over the internet. Then I’ll puke for real, drink more, and try to find the submit button. Finally the editors will weep over my shitty spelling, inconsistent CSS formats, and sporadic updates (THIS IS HOW THE MAGIC HAPPENS).

Music Mondays, I’m coming to the rescue. You’ll never have to worry about that Miami Heat bandwagoning tool misappropriating you ever again. I’m so sorry I left.

So someone as part of an art exhibit has put together an interactive video game that lets you play as Anne Frank. I don’t even know where to start on something like this. I guess the matter-of-fact questions come first: What genre is this? RPG? Survival horror? Is it graphical, or is it a text-base game? Will it have quicktime events like in Resident Evil? {Tap A to keep quiet} {Tap B to open door}

annefrankgames

Not to mention the moral questions that a game like this brings up. How do you get gamers to play something that they already know the ending to? In an Anne Frank game, you can only achieve BAD END without the game feeling like a copout. How do you implement multiplayer without making one side the Nazis? OR is the multiplayer mode a race against the clock and whomever sells information first about the other player wins? I’m feeling dirty just trying to design this game in my head.

I liked it better when games set in WWII gave you a gun and told you to blast anything wearing Hugo Boss. I think I’ll boot up DOSBox and play some Wolfenstein 3D to wash off the moral ambiguity.

I am not against cliches if they’re done well. Execution and sticking the landing count in my book, and can overcome a lot in terms of subject matter and narrative devices both novel and trite. So let’s use that as the explanation for why I’m praising a video where hipsters are likened to zombies culturally, then literally and eviscerated lyrically, then physically.

The case for the hipster-as-zombie is cliche but irresistible simply because no one can stop themselves from pointing out any hypocrisy, large or small; and any subculture that dares to act differently will unfortunately turn out to be acting differently all the same way. Hipsters are an easy target for this, we’re all going to farmer’s markets and getting sloppy on PBR and listening to boring indie pop that features a banjo and musical saw for no real reason, right? So we must be zombies. And the spread of hipster culture must be stamped out, like an outbreak from the nearest cemetery.

So here’s Watsky’s take on the Pitchfork/American Apparel crowd. Avoid rolling your eyes long enough to realize that once the mic is dropped, the shotgun will be picked up. Logan Square is full to the brim, and the next in line to fall is Garfield Park. Are you going to do anything about it, or are you going to let those filthy hipsters get your neighborhood next?

And props for using the best kind of zombie: the real one, from a grave, that walks stiff and slow with jacked up body parts. “Viral” zombies that move fast are bullshit.

jewish_gamer

An online encounter can be anything these days. It can be anonymous, but increasingly this is becoming more and more infrequent. More likely our online doings are public and end up revealing something about you to people you know, or are simply broadcast into what we perceive to be an electronic vacuum. But be cautious: someone is always watching. I say that to warn off the guy I played NBA Jam against earlier, he of the Israeli flag background and the violent right bumper spam maneuver. Now every corporation in the world knows that you are the equivalent of the kid who would spam the same one move in fighting games over and over again to extract a long, joyless win from an increasingly unenthusiastic opponent. Congratulations, I hope you feel accomplished over how fast you can twitch your right index finger for seven minutes.

Maybe some background is in order: Back in February, I was waiting by the train station to Damen when I spotted someone I knew from work. “Hey man,” he said as he spotted me. I gave him one of those half-handshake, half high five greetings in return. “What’s up, Chris?” I asked. “Not too much.” He pointed to my Bulls hat. “Are you a hoopster?” I was confused for a half-second. “You mean, do I play in a rec league?” He laughed. “No, like, a hipster that follows basketball.”

Instantly, and with minimal effort on my part, I had earned a new label.

What’s a hoopster to do but get sloppy on beer and play NBA Jam every other day or so? There’s only so much time to do it after all, since I have other important activities to do, like: nod my head pompously at art gallery showings, critique the latest dive bar’s newly hired mixologist, argue with others over Pitchfork’s score for Bath’s new album, or just generally be a passive-aggressive jerk about art, pop culture and life in general. So in my spare time I like to unwind with something that is directly confrontational, fueled with alcohol, and still satiates my appetite for inconsequential entertainment. NBA Jam provides this in spades.

So this is how I came to be battling with some ass who was repping Israel as the Dallas Mavericks, using the Turbo Shove command that had Dirk Nowitski and Jamal Mashburn making the Laimbeer-era Pistons look soft. Was this guy actually having fun? Was he actually from Israel? Or was he just a Hasid that hated my bike and wanted to make me suffer for using it?

I didn’t feel curious enough to find out for good. I sunk a between the legs three point trick shot, quit the game, finished my beer, and made plans to meet up with some people at an album release party taking place a few blocks away. Stay at home and get Mashburned by a vindictive Xbox Live internet hero? Ain’t no hipster got time for that.

Everyone’s been wondering who is going to take over the Late Night 12:35 slot now that Jimmy Fallon is going to 11:35. Speculation is rampant (and fun!), but the pressure for NBC to make the right decision is immense, because they can’t really do anything right. How do you let a show like Community just die on the vine like that? And that’s barely scratching the surface of what’s going on here.

So you’ve got the late night slot open, the one that is supposed to skew younger but doesn’t because twentysomethings are still out and about, drinking at bars and going on twitter and whatever other awful not-TV things they’re doing at 12:35, so you need something they’ll actually sit up and pay attention to. You need something off-the-wall and funny and the complete opposite of Jay Leno.

Hire Gorburger. Seriously. He gets the hip bands. He jokes with them, gets them to play their hit songs, and then he hits them with a dash of salt and pepper and eats them. Chomp. How macabre and avant garde is that shit? Great entertainment! Plus, he kind of looks like one of those Troll dolls from the 80′s. Nostalgia Factor, built right in! This is foolproof. I’m handing you your salvation on a silver platter, network execs. I take checks.

Gorburger

He’s big enough to even eat MeatLoaf, g-ddamn

Gorburger!

If you do this, you might lose everyone over the age of 30, but when all you care about is that 18-24 demographic, who cares? Go for broke, NBC, you suck anyway. At least if you do this, we know you’re trying.

In Honor of Pi Day

IronyOnRye —  03/14/2013 —  Comments

Most people will be celebrating Pi Day. It’s the day where everyone eats pie! Hur hur, so clever. Liberal arts majors forget how much they hated math and will bake a pie to eat, or more than likely will just buy one from the store or a bakery. And this year something tells me that a lot of fucking hipsters will be buying gluten free pies. If you do this, (and right now I am speaking as a cook and not as a hipster) fuck you.

More than likely you aren’t actually gluten intolerant/Celiac and are actually being taken for a ride. (the article states that non-gluten alternatives are 242% more expensive on average than regular ones). So stop asking for gluten free substitutes at a restaurant if you aren’t actually Celiac. It just makes everyone in the kitchen hate you and yell at your waiter, which makes your waiter hate you. Stop being trendy. I would actually prefer you to shout YOLO at your table and put your dinner on Instagram (those things, while annoying, at least don’t cost me any time.)

Or, you know, just buy that gluten free pie. You’re living off that trust fund check anyway, so who cares that it cost twice as much? And who cares that the baker had to use a separate table with special flour and had to wash their hands four times to make sure no regular flour was present just to make this pie? Or that all this special precaution to not kill you is moot because you don’t actually have Celiac’s. Just take the pie and get out of my sight. It took them two extra hours and they still had to price the pie competitively with the grocery store ones and now they’ll have to recalculate their labor overhead and cut someone’s hours. You’re killing small bakeries.

If you got factory made gluten free, however, you’re getting raked over the coals and the commercial bakery is laughing all the way to the bank.